What is the Double Ninth Festival in China?

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The Double Ninth Festival is a traditional Chinese folk festival. The festival is on the 9th day of the ninth lunar month. The “nine” number is the yang number in the “Book of Changes”, and the “nine-nine” two yang numbers are the same, so it is called “Chongyang”; because the sun and the month both coincide with nine, it is also called “the heavy nine”. Jiujiu return to the truth, the beginning of the unity, the ancients believed that Jiujiu Chongyang was an auspicious day. In ancient times, folks used to climb high to pray for blessing, worship gods and ancestors, and drink banquets to pray for longevity on the Double Ninth Festival. Inherited to this day, it has added respect for the elderly and other connotations. Climbing the heights and admiring autumn and being grateful and respecting the elderly are the two important themes of today’s Chongyang Festival activities.


The Double Ninth Festival originated from the worship of celestial phenomena, started in ancient times, popularized in the Western Han Dynasty, and flourished after the Tang Dynasty. According to the existing historical data and textual research, in ancient times, there were harvest festivals and ancestor worship activities in the season and autumn; the ancients worshipped the emperor and ancestors at the harvest of crops in September to thank the emperor and the ancestors. This is the Double Ninth Festival as autumn. The original form of harvest ritual activities. The Tang Dynasty is an important period when traditional festivals and customs are combined and finalized, and the main part of it has been passed down to this day.
During the historical development and evolution of the Double Ninth Festival, a variety of folk customs have been blended together, carrying rich cultural connotations. In the folklore concept, “nine” is the largest number among the numbers. It implies a long and long life, and it entrusts people’s blessings for the health and longevity of the elderly. On May 20, 2006, the Double Ninth Festival was included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage lists by the State Council.


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